Ojaank IAS Academy




19 November 2022 – Current Affairs

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Honey Trap

Paper 1 – Security

Why You Should Know?

The Delhi Police on November 18, 2022  arrested a driver working with the Ministry of External Affairs in connection with an alleged espionage case.

In detail –
What was the matter?
  • Delhi Police, with the help of security agencies, arrested a driver working in Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for passing confidential and sensitive information to Pakistan.
  • The driver was honey-trapped by Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.
  • According to Police sources the driver was ‘honey trapped’ and is said to have passed on confidential information to the other accused involved in the case.
  • Police and intelligence agencies began a probe to find whether more employees working at the MEA are involved in the case.
What does ‘honey trap’ mean?
  • The practice of ‘honey trapping’ refers to the use of romantic or sexual relationships to get information out of a target.
  • The honey pot or trap involves making contact with an individual who has information or resources required by a group or individual;
  • the trapper will then seek to entice the target into a false relationship (which may or may not include actual physical involvement) in which they can glean information or influence over the target.
  • The information can be used for monetary advancement or to achieve political ends, such as in the case of state espionage.
  • Sometimes, honey traps are also laid for extortion or blackmail purposes.
Honey trap in India
  • In India, K V Unnikrishnan, a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer was allegedly honey trapped in the 1980s, by a woman suspected of being a CIA (Central Intelligence Agency, the foreign intelligence agency of the United States).
  • She was working as an air hostess with the now-defunct Pan Am Airlines, while Unnikrishnan was working as the head of the Chennai division of RAW and dealing with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
  • Unnikrishnan was arrested in 1987 for leaking information through the woman.

Sources – IE


The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act

Paper 2 – Polity

Why You Should Know?

Ten years after the enactment of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which deals specifically with child sexual abuse, an analysis of POCSO cases across India has found gaps in its implementation – including increasing pendency of cases and a high rate of acquittals.

In detail –
  • The analysis, titled ‘A Decade of POCSO’, was carried out by the Justice, Access and Lowering Delays in India (JALDI) Initiative at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, in collaboration with the Data Evidence for Justice Reform (DE JURE) program at the World Bank.
  • It analysed a total of 230,730 cases from 486 districts spanning 28 states and Union Territories, from 2012 to February 2021.
  • Case laws, policy interventions and case metadata was collected from the eCourts, the digital platform which gives information on pending cases, court orders, etc.
What is POCSO?
  • The Constitution of India has incorporated several provisions to protect the rights of children and India has also been a signatory to landmark international instruments, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, etc.,
  • However, India lacked any dedicated provision against child sexual abuse. Cases would be tried under different provisions of the Indian Penal Code, which was found to be ill-equipped.
  • In the 1990s, a child sexual abuse racket was busted in Goa, following which the state government enacted a law to promote child rights in 2003.
  • Also, the Special Expert Committee under Justice VR Krishna Iyer presented a draft code for child rights in India – the Children’s Code Bill, 2000.
  • These two initiatives established the basis for dedicated legislation against child sexual abuse.
  • In 2005, the Department of Women and Child Development prepared a draft bill to address different offences targeted against children.
  • The Study of Child Abuse, a 2007 report published by the Ministry of Women and Child Development covering 13 states with a sample size of 12,447 children, 2,324 young adults and 2,449 stakeholders, looked at different forms of child abuse and found that 50.76% of children surveyed reported having faced one or more form of sexual abuse.
  • Contrary to the general perception then, the overall percentage of boys reporting experiencing sexual abuse was much higher than that of girls.
  • In September 2010, the Ministry of Women and Child Development prepared a draft Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2010 which after several rounds of revisions came into force as the POCSO Act on Children’s Day – 14 November, 2012.
Key findings on crimes against children
  • The analysis has found that 43.44% of trials under POCSO end in acquittals while only 14.03% end in convictions. For every one conviction in a POCSO case, there are three acquittals.
  • Acquittals are significantly higher than convictions for all the states studied. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh, acquittals are seven times more than convictions; and in West Bengal, acquittals are five times more than convictions.
  • In Kerala, the gap between acquittal and conviction is not very high with acquittals constituting 20.5% of the total disposals and convictions constituting 16.49%.
  • Out of 138 judgements looked at in detail by the study, only in 6% of the cases were the accused people strangers to the victim.
  • While in 44% of the cases, the relationship between the victim and accused had not been identified, 22.9% accused were known to the victims, 3.7% were family members and 18% of cases had a prior romantic relationship.
  • As per data published by the National Crime Record Bureau in 2021, in 96% of the cases filed under the POCSO Act, 2012, the accused was a person known to the child victim – in 48.66% of cases, the accused is either a friend or a romantic partner of the victim.
  • In these 138 cases, the study has found that 5.47% of victims were under 10 years of age, 17.8% between 10-15 years and 28% between 15-18 years. The age of the victim in 48% of cases was not identified.
  • While the age of the accused was not identified in 63.6% of cases, in the rest around 11.6% of accused were between 19-25 years of age and 10.9% were between 25-35 years; 6.1% of accused were between 35-45 years and 6.8% were more than 45 years old.
  • Offences of penetrative sexual assault (31.18%) and aggravated penetrative sexual assault (25.59%), which prescribe the most stringent punishments under the POCSO Act, together comprise over half of all POCSO cases.
Quality of justice under POCSO
  • The study has found on average, it takes 509.78 days for a POCSO case to be disposed of – whereas it has been stipulated under the Act that such cases need to be disposed of within a year.
  • Though the pendency of POCSO cases was increasing gradually over the years, there was a sharp increase in the number of pending cases between 2019 and 2020, which could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The report has observed that one of the primary reasons for this is the slow pace of investigation by the police and the delay in depositing samples with the Forensic Science Laboratories.
  • A total of 22.76% of cases were disposed of by virtue of transfers from one court to another, and “one-fifth of the cases in this dataset ended in transfers’’, said the study.
  • Since POCSO cases are supposed to be tried by the Special Court, the transfers indicate “either administrative mismanagement or wrongful appreciation of facts by the police”.
  • While the percentage of transfers out of total disposals was only around 8% in 2013, it rose to a little over 19% in 2019 and a startling 42% in 2020.
  • The report has found this trend “concerning’’ for the time wasted as cases are transferred from one court to another.
different Indian states
  • Delhi has the highest number of POCSO trials in the country with 13.54 cases per 100,000 population in 2018 – which does not necessarily mean the number of incidents of sexual offences is higher, but that there is increasing awareness and reporting of cases.
  • But Delhi also had the highest average case length in the country in 2020, at 1,284.33 days.
  • Chandigarh and West Bengal are the only states where the average time taken for convictions is within one year.
  • States like Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Sikkim, Chandigarh and the NCT of Delhi seem to have a much higher reporting of POCSO cases.
  • The five districts with the highest number of POCSO trials (pending and disposed) are: Namchi (Sikkim), New Delhi, Central Delhi, Medak (Telangana) and West Garo Hills (Meghalaya).
  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest pendency with more than three-fourths (77.77%) of the total POCSO cases filed between November 2012 and February 2021 pending. On the other hand, at 80.2%, Tamil Nadu has the highest disposal percentage.
  • Five districts with the highest pendency percentages include Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Hardoi (Uttar Pradesh), Budaun (Uttar Pradesh), Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Howrah (West Bengal).
Gaps in implementation
  • According to the study, “support persons” are not being appointed in most POCSO cases. The Supreme Court had also noted that in 96% of cases, a support person was not provided to the victim.
  • A support person may be a person or organisation working in the field of child rights or child protection, an official of a children’s home or a shelter home having custody of the child, or a person employed by the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), who hand holds the victim through the entire legal process.
  • The analysis further notes POCSO courts have not been designated in all districts.
  • As of 2022, 408 POCSO courts have been set up in 28 States as part of the Government’s Fast Track Special Court’s Scheme.
  • There is a lack of Special Public Prosecutors appointed specifically to handle POCSO cases, and even when they are appointed they are often employed for non-POCSO cases.

Sources –IE

Battle of Rezang La

Paper 1 –History

Why You Should Know?

On 18 November the 60th Rezang La Day, the Indian Army remembered its 114 sons who were martyred in the war with China in Ladakh.

In detail –
  • On 18 November 1962, Major Shaitan Singh along with 113 other jawans and officers of 13 Kumaon Regiment laid down their lives fighting in the cold desert defending their motherland against the Chinese forces.
  • This day is celebrated by the Indian Army as “Rezang La Day”.
  • A war memorial has been constructed in the memory of these martyrs in Chushul village.
  • On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the 1962 Sino-Indian War, a memorial service was held at the ChusholRezang La War Memorial.
  • On this occasion, Defense Secretary GiridharArmane paid tribute to the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-China war of 1962.
About the battle
  • 60 years ago on the morning of November 18, when more than five thousand Chinese soldiers, supported by heavy artillery, attacked Charlie Company defending Chushul’s airfield,
  • A fierce battle broke out in which India’s bravehearts defending Chushul lost their lives. The sons sacrificed their lives.
  • 120 brave soldiers of Charlie Company of 13 Kumaon Regiment, under the leadership of Commanding Officer Major Shaitan Singh, gave the biggest blow to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and killed thousands of Chinese soldiers in the battle.
  • In this war, 114 soldiers of C Company were martyred while fighting. Five of the wounded were taken as prisoners, though they all escaped.
  • Three months later, the bodies of Charlie Company soldiers were recovered in fighting posture.
  • Some were found far from the trenches, with bullet and bayonet wounds from hand-to-hand combat.
  • Sonam Ringzin, 72, who participated in the war as a local coolie helping the army, said that all the villagers helped the army during the war.
  • But, it was an unequal battle because 15 years after independence the Indian army was not well equipped, had neither winter clothes nor better weapons, to fight with the huge Chinese army.

Source – IE


Hwasong-17- ‘monster missile’

Paper 3 –Science & Tech

Why You Should Know?

North Korea said it test fired its massive new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

In detail –
  • The Hwasong-17 is nuclear-armed North Korea’s biggest missile yet, and is the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled ICBM in the world.
  • Its diameter is estimated to be between 2.4 and 2.5 metres, and its total mass, when fully fuelled, is likely somewhere between 80,000 and 110,000 kg, according to 38 North, a U.S.-based programme that monitors North Korea.
  • Unlike North Korea’s earlier ICBMs, the Hwasong-17 is launched directly from a transporter, erector, launcher (TEL) vehicle with 11 axles, photos by state media showed.
Flying Range
  • The missile launched on Friday flew nearly 1,000 km (621 miles) for about 69 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 6,041 km.
  • Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the weapon could travel as far as 15,000 km (9,320 miles), enough to reach the continental United States.
  • The Hwasong-17’s size has prompted analysts to speculate that it will be designed to carry multiple warheads and decoys to better penetrate missile defences.
  • Some observers said that the satellite technology that North Korea claimed to have tested in the Feb. 27 and March 5 launches could also be used for a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) system, potentially allowing a single missile to drop nuclear warheads on different targets.
  • North Korea has made preparations to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017, South Korea and the United States say, and officials say new tests could help develop warheads for MIRV systems.
Previous launches
  • North Korea previously claimed it had successfully launched a Hwasong-17 for the first time on March 24, when state media said it flew for 67.5 minutes to a range of 1,090 km (681 miles) and a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 km (3,905 miles).
  • After that launch, however, analysts and intelligence officials in South Korean and the United States had concluded that the North had actually launched a Hwasong-15, which was first tested in 2017.
Previous sightings
  • North Korea first unveiled the previously unseen ICBM at an unprecedented pre-dawn military parade in October 2020, with analysts noting it appeared “considerably larger” than the Hwasong-15.
  • It was displayed a second time at a defence exhibition in Pyongyang in October 2021.
  • After examining photos of the exhibit, analysts concluded the official designation of this large ICBM is most likely “Hwasong-17”, not Hwasong-16.
  • Officials in Seoul and Washington said launches on Feb. 27 and March 5 involved the Hwasong-17 ICBM system, though they did not test its full capability or range. Some analysts say those tests may have involved only one stage.

Sources – IE

National education society for tribal students (NESTS)

Paper 2 – Education

Why You Should Know?

Recently National education society for tribal students (NESTS) and 1 Million for 1 Billion foundation signed an agreement to train teachers and students Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs).

In detail –
  • The programme train students and teachers in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) using the AR-VR curriculum launched by the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE).
  • The primary objective of the programme is to conduct training and capacity-building programs for teachers and students of EMRS. In the pilot phase, the programme will be EMRS in Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
  • NESTS in partnership with 1M1B aims to engage students of EMRSs in nation-building by enabling teachers and students to understand possibilities offered by emerging technologies and become creators using AR and VR to build India’s Metaverse.
  • In line with national education policy (NEP) 2020, this collaboration will provide students of EMRSs with an exposure to immersive, visual, and experiential learning that shall enhance human infrastructure resource for the nation.
What is 1M1B?
  • 1M1B is a US-based non-profit company accredited to the United Nations Organisation with special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • It is associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications.
  • National Education Society for Tribal Students (NESTS), an autonomous society under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • It aimed at providing high quality education to the tribal students in their own environment.
Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS)
  • Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) is a Government of India scheme for model residential school, specifically for Scheduled Tribes across India.
  • It is one of the flagship interventions of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India and was introduced in the year 1997-98 to ensure tribal students get access to quality education in the remote tribal areas.
  • EMRSs are set up in States/UTs with grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution of India.
  • Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS.
  • Students will be empowered to be change agents, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a larger context.
  • Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI and XII, and those in standards VI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met,
  • Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities.
  • Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical, environmental and cultural needs of student life.

Sources – TH

Right to Vote

Paper 2 – Polity

Why You Should Know?

The Election Commission has abolished the right to vote from Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. The right to vote from the SP leader has been taken under Section 16 of the Election Commission’s Representation of the People Act.

In detail –
  • The Election Commission has removed the name of Azam Khan from the voter list. Because of which he will not be able to vote even in the Rampur Sadar assembly by-election.
  • Azam Khan’s right to vote has been abolished under Section 16 of the Election Commission’s Representation of the People Act.
  • Before taking away the right to vote from Azam Khan, on October 27, in the MP-MLA court of Rampur, he was sentenced to 3 years in the case of hate speech.
The law
  • According to the law, if an MLA or MP or a member of the Legislative Council is guilty in any case and that guilt is proved on him, then his membership is cancelled.
  • Along with this, he is also banned from contesting elections for 6 years.
  • The section under which the voting rights of Azam Khan have been abolished is section 16 of the Election Commission’s Representation of the People Act.
  • According to which if a person is associated with corruption or crime, then his right to vote can be taken away.
  • According to this act, if that culprit is an MP or MLA, then his membership is cancelled. Along with this, the name is also cut off from the voter list.
Can’t contest elections for 6 years
  • The right to vote is taken away from a person or MP or MLA or Member of Legislative Council when he is convicted under section 171E or 171F of the IPC or section 125 or 135 of the Representation of the People Act, his right to vote is lost is done.
  • Along with this, he is also banned from contesting elections for 6 years.
What was the matter?
  • In 2019, during a rally, Azam Khan made a provocative statement against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
  • In this case, a case was registered against the SP leader in Rampur.
  • In this case, on October 27, in the MP-MLA court of Rampur, he was convicted in the case of hate speech and sentenced to 3 years in jail and a fine of Rs 2,000.
  • In the hate speech case, Azam Khan was convicted under IPC 153A (promoting enmity between two groups) and IPC 505 (1) (making statements prejudicial to public order) and section 125 of the Representation of the People Act.

Sources – IE

Family Planning (EXCELL) Awards-2022

Paper 2 –Health

Why Should You Know?

India wins Excellence in Leadership in Family Planning (EXCELL) Awards-2022 at International Conference on Family Planning

In details –
  • In a significant development and recognition to the country’s efforts in improving access to modern family planning methods, India is the only country to have received the Leadership in Family Planning (EXCELL) Awards-2022 in the ‘country category’ at the International Conference on Family Planning held in Pattaya city, Thailand.
Outstanding progress
  • India has made outstanding progress not only in improving access but also adoption of modern contraceptive methods enabling couples to make informed choices about family planning. These are reflected in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – 5 data.
  • As per NFHS-5 data, overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54 percent to 67 percent in the country, from NFHS-4. Similarly, unmet needs of family planning have witnessed a significant decline from 13 per cent to 9 per cent.
  • The unmet need for spacing has also come down to less than 10 per cent.
  • The total ‘demand satisfied’ for family planning among currently married women aged 15-49 in India increased from 66 percent in 2015-16 to 76 percent in 2019-21 which has already crossed the SDG target of 75 set globally for 2030.
  • The government’s focus on improving easy and affordable access to modern contraceptives are reflected in the fact that 68% modern method contraceptive users obtain their method from the public health sector, as per NFHS-5 data.
  • Mission Parivar Vikas, one of the government’s flagship programmes, to reduce unmet needs in family planning, has also been a critical factor in the overall improvement.
  • India’s efforts in improving family planning demonstrate the progress the country is making towards achieving the SDG targets on women and maternal health.
About ICFP
  • The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) has served as a strategic inflection point for the global reproductive health community,
  • It provides a global stage for more than 120 countries worldwide, organizations, and individuals to make important commitments and celebrate achievements as the world’s largest scientific conclave on family planning and reproductive health.
  • The event was attended by more than 3500 delegates physically and tens of thousands on the virtual platform.

Sources – PIB


Kashi Tamil Sangamam

Paper 1 – Art & Culture

Why You Should Know?

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate a month-long event titled ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ on 19th November in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

In detail –
  • ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ is being organized in  Varanasi (Kashi) from 17th November to 16th December,2022 with the objective to rediscover, reaffirm and celebrate the age-old links between Tamil Nadu and Kashi – two of the country’s most important and ancient seats of learning.
  • Kashi Tamil Sangamam is being organized by the Ministry of Education, Govt of India in collaboration with other ministries like Culture, Textiles, Railways, Tourism, Food Processing, I&B etc and the Govt of UP. 
  • The endeavour is in sync with NEP 2020’s emphasis on integrating the wealth of Indian Knowledge Systems with modern systems of knowledge.
  • IIT Madras and BHU are the two implementing agencies for the programme.
  • The programme  aims to provide an opportunity for scholars, students, philosophers, traders, artisans, artists and people from other walks of life from the two regions to come together, share their knowledge, culture and best practices and learn from each others’ experience.
  • More than 2500 delegates from Tamil Nadu under 12 categories such as students, teachers, literature, culture, artisans, spiritual, heritage, business, entrepreneurs, professionals  etc will be visiting Varanasi on 8-day tours.
  • They will participate in seminars, lecdems, site visits etc in special  programmes curated for each of the 12 catogories to interact with local people of the same trade, profession and interest.
  • The delegates will also visit places of interest in and around Varanasi including Prayagraj and Ayodhya. 
  • Students of BHU and other Higher Educational Institutions will be participating in the academic programmes.
  • They will study the comparative practices pertaining to various  sectors in the two regions and document the learnings.
  • The first group of delegates consisting of  200 students started their tour from Chennai on the 17th of November, their train was flagged off  by  Governor of Tamil Nadu Shri R. N Ravi from the Chennai Railway station.
  • Along with this, a month long exhibition of handlooms, handicrafts, ODOP products, books, documentaries, cuisine, art forms, history, tourist places etc of the two regions  will be put up in Varanasi for the benefit of the local people.
  • During the inaugural programme Prime Minister will interact with the delegates coming from Tamil Nadu.
  • The inauguration ceremony will witness various cultural performances such as vocal rendition by Shri Ilaiyaraaja, and book releases.

Source – PIB


National Maritime Search & Rescue Board meeting

Paper 3 – Security

Why Should You Know?

Indian Coast Guard conducts 20th National Maritime Search & Rescue Board meeting in Gujarat

In detail –
  • In the series of Annual Maritime Search and Rescue (M-SAR) meetings, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted the 20th National Maritime Search and Rescue (NMSAR) Board meeting at Kevadia, Gujarat on November 18, 2022.
  • The apex level meeting was chaired by Director General, ICG Shri VS Pathania who is also the Chairman of NMSAR Board.
  • The Chairman, in his inaugural address, highlighted various initiatives undertaken by ICG in coordination with other stakeholders/resource agencies for strengthening the M-SAR services under the aegis of the Board.
  • During the meeting, Shri VS Pathania launched the National Maritime Search and Rescue Plan-2022.
  • It serves as a policy document for all the participating agencies & stakeholders for directing an integrated and coordinated approach towards the functioning of the M-SAR system.
  • Apart from deliberations on various maritime safety issues and identifying areas of improvement of SAR services through policy framework and awareness programmes, technical presentations were also delivered by the subject experts from ICG, ISRO, Maharashtra State Fisheries and Karnataka State Fisheries followed by brainstorming sessions and discussions on Agenda Points from the stakeholders.
  • The Search and Rescue Aid Tool-Integrated (SARAT-I) software version 1.0 which has been developed jointly by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) was also launched.
  • The software has been designed to integrate the depiction of the most probable area during an aeronautical contingency over the sea.
  • The software uses the line-datum probability algorithm to show the exact location.
  • The software is aimed to aid the search for missing aircraft, after losing contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) or the Shore-based RADAR.
About NMSAR meeting
  • The NMSAR Board, comprising 31 members from various central ministries/agencies, members of the Armed Forces, all Coastal States & Union Territories, meets annually to discuss policy issues.
  • formulate guidelines & procedures, assess the efficacy of National Maritime Search and Rescue Plan and services for mariners and fishermen in the vast 4.6 million sq km of Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR).

Sources – PIB


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